How to Plan your Wedding, Wedding Planning Ideas

How to save on wedding catering

When thinking about weddings one of the first things we think about is free food and (potentially, lots of free) drinks! (Or is that just me??) Anyway… food and drink is often the biggest budget-item on your wedding planning list. Understandably, there can be a lot of pressure to reduce costs and get the most value for your money.

Here are my top picks of the most budget-friendly catering options for weddings.

Cocktail Reception

Cocktail receptions can be a cheaper alternative to a full sit-down meal. If you have a big guest list, serving cocktail-style food can reduce your overall price-per-head which can add up to big savings. If you enjoy gourmet food and beverages, serving in smaller quantities can allow for better quality. Champagne and oysters anyone??


If the venue you want is a bit out of reach, consider a brunch reception. Many venues will provide this option at a reduced rate- especially if they can cater another evening function the same day.

While everyone loves a mimosa or two, your alcohol bill probably won’t be quite so steep if you are catering for a morning reception.

(If you don’t mind an early start, a morning wedding will give you more of the day to celebrate as a couple!).


Nothing can beat the relaxed vibe of a good, old-fashioned picnic! Picnics are a fantastic idea for couples who want to DIY their catering. Most elements of a picnic basket can be prepared in advance- with no culinary skill required!

Buffets and Gourmet BBQs

Buffets are DIY-doable if the cooking and preparation can be minimised. Think of creative ways to serve cold dishes that are simple to prepare and serve. The more you are able to prepare your buffet in advance, the less stress you will have trying to throw things on a table just before the guests arrive. Some examples of a no-fuss buffet are:

  • A selection of high-tea inspired sandwiches and sweets
  • Lolly and dessert buffets
  • Seafood buffets (keep the seafood on ice to keep fresh)
  • Grazing boards

If you have a family member or friend who likes nothing better than getting behind a barbeque at social events, consider asking them to help you out and ‘fire up the barbie’.

Bonus Tip:

Don’t feel like you need to do everything yourself just to cut costs. Who wants to be washing up 100 plates straight after their wedding! Many venues will allow BYO beverages and provide the food. Or, you may wish to prepare the cocktail hour platters and only have the main course professionally catered.


How to Plan your Wedding

How to get married- legally!

This isn’t the most exciting topic, but knowing what you need to do to get married is pretty important if you want to make sure that at the end of the day, you are really and truly- and legally married. In Australia, the legal requirements for marriage are relatively straight-forward (which can be very appealing for those thinking about a destination wedding). Here is a guide to tying the knot without getting tangled in red tape.

Am I eligible to get married?

If you are over the age of eighteen, not currently in a legal marriage- and not closely related to each other, you can go right ahead and tie the knot. To show that you are not currently married you can either make a statement that you have been ‘never validly married’ or produce an original certificate showing how all previous marriages are not current. This is usually in the form of a divorce certificate, or a death certificate.

Do I need a marriage licence?

In Australia you don’t need to apply for a marriage licence but you do need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage form and submit it to the person authorised to marry you, at least one calendar month prior to the day you want to marry. While you do have to wait one month before you get married, the Notice of Intended Marriage form is valid for eighteen months so don’t worry, you have plenty of time to plan a spectacular wedding.

Lodging your Notice of Intended Marriage

Your Notice of Intended Marriage is basically a Statutory Declaration that needs to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or other authorised person, such as your celebrant. (Make sure you bring along photo ID for the Justice of the Peace to witness your signature).

When you lodge your Notice of Intended Marriage you need to produce some identification to show who you are. This identification needs to be an original birth certificate or a current passport. Any divorce or death certificates to show that you are not married anymore also need to be shown at this time. If any of your documentation is in a language other than English, you may need to provide an official translation to your celebrant/officiant.

You will also need to show your celebrant photo identification so they know they are marrying the right bride to the right groom!

On the big day!

Okay, I know that on the day of you wedding there is so much to remember about already, but there are two more requirements you need to bring with you along with the rings and the bouquet. You need at least two witnesses to see you tie the knot.

 The only criteria for choosing your witnesses is that they are over the age of eighteen. Your witnesses will be there to hear your special vows and sign your certificates of marriage.


While there are a few lines you need to legally incorporate into your vows, what you promise to each other on your wedding day can be completely up to you.

So, while there are a few important steps to follow in order to get legally married, none of them are very tricky.  It’s the job of your celebrant/officiant to guide you through the whole way. You can easily have your ‘happily ever after’- with a certificate to prove it!